The Way We Were: Archives Collection and Image of the Month Series

The main role of the City Archives is to manage government records with long-term business value. The City of Vaughan Archives also collects, preserves and makes available for research permanently valuable non-government records from the Vaughan community that document the rich and diverse heritage of the City of Vaughan. Every month we’ll share pieces of Vaughan’s heritage in a regular feature called The Way We Were.

To view more from the City’s archival collections, visit the City of Vaughan’s Facebook page.


Image of the month: Belle Beacon at Don Head Farms, 1953

This image from 1953 depicts Belle Beacon, the first cow to produce more than 1,000 pounds of butter at Don Head Farms. Pictured with Belle from left to right are Art McKeown, head superintendent at Don Head Farms; Jim Brenna, secretary of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club; Mr. W. Redelmeier, owner of Don Head Farms; Bartley Bull, president of the Canadian Jersey Cattle Club; Cliff Graham, deputy minister of agriculture; and Francis Redelmeier. Don Head Farms was established in 1930 by John D. Patterson on the east half of Lot 21, Concession 2, near the intersection of Bathurst Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. The farm was notable for raising purebred Southdown sheep and Aberdeen cattle, with the introduction of the latter playing a prominent role in the development of the Aberdeen-Angus herd in North America.

Collection of the month: Scott Somerville Fonds

Scott Somerville is a local Vaughan resident and highly active member of the community. He was originally a fire fighter with the Town and eventually worked as the City Manager from 1978-2002. He is also the namesake of the Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service and York EMS Station 7-9. Spanning the years 1970-2004, the Scott Somerville fonds is comprised of textual and graphic records and 3-D artifacts that document the history and evolution of the City of Vaughan. Among the items included are: written descriptions of the Town and City of Vaughan’s Chain of Office; patches featuring the City’s corporate seal; a Town pin and memorial coin celebrating Vaughan’s transition from a town to a city; posters and prints of Vaughan scenery; maps of Vaughan; a silk tie designed by Toronto Sun Editorial Cartoonist Andy Donato; a scarf with a City of Vaughan design; and a Vaughanopoly board game. A certificate, a fan, a kite and a hanging scroll of a landscape painting comprise some of the artifacts from trade missions to Italy and Japan in which Scott participated.
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  • 2 thoughts on “The Way We Were: Archives Collection and Image of the Month Series

    1. Is there anyway to get a copy of the photo from Don Head Farms. My father was Art McKeown, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see this photo.

      Yours truly,
      Mary Jane

      1. Hi Mary Jane, thanks for reaching out! A staff member from our Archives department will contact you to get you a copy of the photo.

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